The Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning participated in a number of clean-ups on the occasion of Earth Day.
A total of 505kg of recyclable, mixed, and bulky waste was collected, including plastic, jablo, wood pellets and cigarette butts, from the areas of Wied Qirda, Delimara, Buskett, Dwejra and Għar Ħasan.
Minister Farrugia said that environmental protection was among the most important measures of the electoral manifesto. “We have undertaken various initiatives to this end and works are ongoing; from interventions to protect our natural heritage, including clean-ups of nature sites such as those we are participating in today. We implemented a number of afforestation projects, proposed new areas to become Natura2000 sites, increased protection of various natural areas, and undertook habitat restoration projects,” the Minister said.
“Our most noble duty is that of protecting present and future generations and protecting our planet. The pandemic brought this into focus, as well as the very real threat of climate change and environmental degradation that we face. To this end, we are working on various strategies and actions to move towards a zero-carbon economy. Just this week, we launched the first national campaign on climate change, and will be publishing the Low Carbon Development Strategy shortly,” Minister Farrugia said.
The Minister spoke of various manifesto measures which are nearing completion, now that the government has launched its plan for a long-term waste strategy and announced the largest investment in waste management in Malta. The need for an entity in charge of Natura2000 sites was also addressed through Ambjent Malta, and continued to be tackled through recent works, projects and the engagement of environmental rangers.
Minister Carmelo Abela commented that it is our duty to do whatever it takes to improve our environment, as a sustainable world is not a choice but a basic need. He stated that in the context of the implementation of the electoral manifesto, the government has implemented numerous measures in favour of the environment in the last few years.
Minister Abela mentioned, amongst others, the introduction of the obligation by the state to safeguard our environment and the heritage of our country into the Constitution, the obligation that the government’s initiatives and projects are environmentally-friendly, the planting of tens of thousands of trees (more than 52,000 between 2018 and 2020 alone), as well as the planting of a tree for every new born child.
Minister Abela continued that, apart from these measures which have been fully implemented, more initiatives are underway, such as the launch of the low-carbon development strategy 2050 related to climate change, as well as the regeneration and embellishment of public places.
Minister Abela concluded by emphasizing that the need for a better Earth will continue to form an important aspect of the government’s operations, because a strong world leads to a better life for this generation and future generations.
Representatives from the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA), WasteServ and Ambjent Malta also participated in the clean-up activities.